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Educational outcomes and effects on cross-cultural communication skills of an international experience for undergraduate STEM students through Michigan Technological University's Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Global Engineering Education Cross-Cultural Awareness and Social Impacts

Tagged Division

International

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

23.456.1 - 23.456.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19470

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Madelyn Espinosa The Pavlis Institute - Michigan Technological Univerisity

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Helena Keller Michigan Technological University

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Nicole Westphal Michigan Technological University

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Abstract

In the summer of 2012 two teams of undergraduate students traveled abroad to Ghana and India aspart of the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership, which was established in 2007 todevelop cross-cultural communication skills and technological leadership in students of various majorsand backgrounds. In an increasingly globalized world, it is important for young people entering theworkforce to be able to communicate effectively across cultures and lead in unfamiliar environments.Many employers, especially in the science and engineering fields, have expressed the necessity ofcultural understanding and communication skills in their new employees as companies move into theglobal marketplace.To answer this need the Pavlis Institute was developed by Michigan Technological University to ensurethat its student leaders not only graduated with a strong background in math, science, and engineering,but in communication practices and cultural awareness as well. The institute’s 25-credit certificateprogram culminates in an experience abroad during which students travel to a developing country forfive weeks to implement service-oriented projects. Students spend the second semester of their thirdyear organizing their projects through communications with their respective in-country contacts beforetraveling in the summer. These trips are unique in that there are no faculty members with the studentsfor the duration of their stay abroad.This paper serves to document Pavlis students’ experiences abroad and the impact that their educationhad on these experiences. It will offer insights on the challenges faced due to cultural differences andalso on skills and understanding which students gained as a result of their time spent in Ghana andIndia.

Espinosa, M., & Keller, H., & Westphal, N. (2013, June), Educational outcomes and effects on cross-cultural communication skills of an international experience for undergraduate STEM students through Michigan Technological University's Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19470

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